Some risk factors for malignant melanoma (MM) are recognized.
To compare the strength of association between MM and eruptive cherry angiomas (CAs) with that of other well-known associations.
This cross-sectional study included all subjects referred to the Outpatient Dermatology-Oncology and Dermoscopy Units of the Universities of Ferrara and Bologna, Italy, over a 5-month period and submitted to total body skin examination. We recorded: age, sex, cutaneous and non-cutaneous malignancies, presence of CAs, arbitrarily considered as “eruptive” when >10, >40 common melanocytic naevi or >2 clinically atypical naevi. The strength of association between the possible risk factors and MM was calculated by odds ratio in both the whole population and age quartiles. Variables associated with MM were included in multiple logistic regression analysis.
1,190 subjects were included; 615 had malignant skin tumours, 462 MM, 85 extracutaneous tumours. Five hundred and eighty-seven subjects had eruptive CAs, 485 subjects >40 melanocytic naevi and 368 more than 2 atypical melanocytic naevi. Eruptive CAs, especially in subjects younger than 70, and >2 atypical melanocytic naevi, mostly in subjects older than 50, were significantly associated with MM. The strength of these 2 associations was similar. The presence of >40 melanocytic naevi was not associated with MM.
These findings confirmed an association between MM and eruptive CAs, which was as strong as the one between MM and >2 atypical melanocytic naevi. CAs seem an intriguing model of interaction between heterogeneous variables, like immunocompetence, stimuli inducing endothelial cell proliferation, and oncogenesis, which deserves further investigation.

© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.